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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this post might belong in the power tools but I was hoping to maximum exposure... so fellas here's what happened:
after three years of using my old powermatic "tube"fence on my unisaw, a piece of 1/4" ply finally found its way into a bind, and then put me on my knees in bad "groin pain"...i've been looking at a new fence for awhile, and that put me over the top.

I'd really like to have the new black biesemeyer, but thats not a must, and it has to be the 50" model, my problem is I keep finding either the head or the rails, very few complete systems. has anyone purchased new and if so where's the best place? I know shipping is going to be a factor as well, I'm located in north carolina near Charlotte. thanks in advance, I'll keep limping around til I find the right fence!!
 

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I think the reason you don't see complete systems is that selling them separately allows you to get the rail length you want without them packaging 4-5 different variations. I see them on Amazon, and that would probably be my choice unless someone else offers free freight. But you can also go to the Delta website and do a dealer search.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks fellas, fred i never thought about it that way that makes sense, I really want the black one just because it looks cool lol, cabinetman ur right about not blaming the fence, we all get a little too comfy around these machines sometimes, I thought an RAS would be the first to get me since thats what I run all day, maybe I can line up the rails and fence from one supplier on amazon and that would help freight, we had a bad storm that fried the AC unit and a couple lights in the shop last night so a few repairs are in order first! and before you guys give me a hard time, the professional shop I work at during the day is cooled with fans, this is my personal hobby shop and I like to stay cool after hours lol
 

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One way to eliminate 1/4" ply from getting under the fence is to clamp a piece of wood to your fence as an auxiliary fence. Keep it flat on the ts top.
 

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I don't have a nice fence at all on my cheap saw, but I have been eyeing a new ridgid 4512 or a used grizzly TS. What are the advantages of a Biesemeier fence over the newer fences that come on a decent saw? For me, a self squaring fence would be a dramatic improvement.
 

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I don't have a nice fence at all on my cheap saw, but I have been eyeing a new ridgid 4512 or a used grizzly TS. What are the advantages of a Biesemeier fence over the newer fences that come on a decent saw? For me, a self squaring fence would be a dramatic improvement.
It really depends on each individual fence, since Grizzly makes a couple of decent Biese clone fences, it'd depend on which Grizzly saw/fence you're referring to....most of their recent saws have offered pretty decent fences IMHO. There are always pros and cons with each fence, and some will like one more than another for a variety of subjective reasons.

The Biese was the original of the welded steel t-square type fences to hit the market....it's goof-proof parallel-everytime front locking system revolutionized the industry, and is now the most highly copied design out there. The R4512 has an aluminum dual locking fence that has a split front rail. The only advantage of a split front rail is smaller packaging...from a performance perspective, it's always a disadvantage because it will never be as seamless as a single piece rail. Aluminum is lighter weight than steel, which could be a benefit, but its also softer and not as stiff, so it's more prone to flexing. For it to be as strong as a steel tube, they'd have to make it considerably thicker, which costs more. The Biesemeyer fence is welded to the t-square head...even using thicker aluminum doesn't add the strength of the welded steel, so they need to use a more elaborate mounting system, which again costs more to make it comparable to a steel Biese style fence (which they don't achieve at this price point). To offset the flex of the thinner aluminum, they use a dual locking system in front and back. The dual locking system is more prone to being locked down out of parallel when the fence is moved (two points to align vs one), whereas the Beise single lock T-system will lock down parallel every time without fail once setup correctly. Some will argue that the Beise style single locking front allows the back to flex more, which is true, but it should be a fairly small amount....more importantly, the vast majority of lateral pressure that's incurred during a cut occurs before the blade where there is no discernible flexing from a Biese type fence, so yanking on the back end proves nothing relative to real world use. A better argument against the single locking system like the Biese uses, is that the tail can lift during some operations...it's been rare IME, but the tail can be clamped for those occasions. There are some scaled down versions of a steel Biese design with smaller tubing on some saws (Jet Proshop, some of the Griz hybrids, Laguna Fusion, etc) ....still plenty strong, and operate on the same goof proof principle, but they're not quite as robust. Overall, the Biese and it's better clones should be much more robust, more precise, easier and more pleasant to use the a cheaper aluminum fence like the one on an R4512, but it's subjective.

Here's an older "Jet Fence" next to a Biese Commercial fence (note the bolts on the Jet aluminum fence....it was a single lock t-square design, but it had a lot more flex than a Beise type):


Here's the Shop Fox Classic (full size Biese clone), and other good copies:





Here's a couple t-square (Biese style) fence with smaller tubing (one with a two-piece rail):




Here's a Ridgid R4512 fence:


Here's the stock fence on the PC270TS:
 

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thanks fellas, fred i never thought about it that way that makes sense, I really want the black one just because it looks cool lol, cabinetman ur right about not blaming the fence, we all get a little too comfy around these machines sometimes, I thought an RAS would be the first to get me since thats what I run all day, maybe I can line up the rails and fence from one supplier on amazon and that would help freight, we had a bad storm that fried the AC unit and a couple lights in the shop last night so a few repairs are in order first! and before you guys give me a hard time, the professional shop I work at during the day is cooled with fans, this is my personal hobby shop and I like to stay cool after hours lol
I have the newer black Biesemeyer on my previous version Unisaw and along with "looking cool" :smile: it has a few upgrades over the original that make it a bit nicer IMO...

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f24/...r-fence-system-newly-redesigned-unisaw-13654/
 

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If you want to save some money and have a stronger setup, you might buy the tube (and angle iron rails) from a steel supplier. I bought the tube for my fence from a supplier, and wanted 1/8" wall (thicker than standard rail) They only had 3/16" wall. So, now it also doubles as an anvil!
The extra weight is a plus, for vibration dampening.
 

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Wow knottscott, thank you for the wealth of information and going way above and beyond my original question by showing examples and a very thorough explanation. I am definitely smarter about fences because of it.
 
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